Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Skin a Firestorm

Due to my favorite viewer not being updated to play well with the recent server changes (see here) and my complete dislike of the Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) of the official viewer, I've been using the Firestorm viewer of late. While it has some nice features, I feel that it is generally bloated so that in a direct comparison it seems to increase the amount of lag that I experience. Still, very good photo tools and code that cooperates with The Lab's current server releases and I suppose I can live with it. I know the primary problem is the lack of support for the graphics card I have, but since that isn't going to be changed any time soon, I should try to have fun anyway.

So I started trying Firestorm's different skins. There is no guide or pictorial for these that I've been able to find, so I took a few pictures so I can compare them.

Ansastorm - Bright Blue
Fairly easy on the eyes but like all the skins, the highlights in the Appearance window are annoying.

Ansastorm - Classic Brown
This skin most resembles the standard Firestorm skins (below) but with a slightly darker UI.

Ansastorm - Ectoplasma
Basically, just a green version of the other two skins.

Firestorm - Blue
The usual weak grey of the standard UI is replaced with a weak blue.

Firestorm - Dark
A slightly darker version of the next skin.

Firestorm - Gray
This seems to be the default skin. Annoying brown highlights but the blue (see above) is worse.

Firestorm - High Contrast
Easier for me to see than the standard Grey, but otherwise the same skin

Vintage Classic
The buttons color, shape, and locations change when the old viewer v1 UI is merged with Firestorm - Grey.

There are several other skins, but the process of needing to restart the viewer for each and every change became tedious so I gave up. Maybe I'll look at them another day. For now I'll probably use the High Contrast skin or the Vintage Classic.

Not that you can tell from the screen clutter, but all these pictures were shot at Sweetbay Designs Garden Gauge Layout (SLurl), a really cool model railroad based on hobbyist live steam sets that rail fan men with some money, lots of time, a fair bit of land, and nothing better to do tend to build.

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